For the past week and a bit my Nan has talked about going back to hospital. This time, to die. She kept saying she had done everything she wanted to do, seen everyone she wanted to see and she was ready to go.
Each day, I’d ask her if she wanted me to make the phone call (a phone call to a specific number would start the ball rolling with her admission to the Palliative Care Ward at the hospital of her choice), but she kept saying “No, not just yet. I want to see (family/friends) one more time, they should be visiting today or tomorrow.”
Last Wednesday though, she couldn’t take it any longer, the previous two nights had been horrible. She’d barely had any sleep and had also started hallucinating. Some of the hallucinations were quite bad and to her, VERY real. She had been waking every couple of hours from nightmares, shortness of breath or hallucinations. I had been with her throughout the night as company and a reassuring voice that i would keep her safe and that she would be OK with me by her side.
She was also becoming much weaker, barely being able to walk more than about 5 metres without getting overwhelmingly exhausted.
Wednesday morning saw the Personal Care lady come as usual to bathe Nan. All went well until it came time to put the compression stockings on Nan’s legs. As Nan’s health has been deteriorating and it seems like she is aging faster, her skin has become extremely delicate. As the Care lady was putting on the stockings with her gloved hands, a skin tear occurred and as can be expected, it bled. The skin tear was seen to and dressed but Nan had been so scared by this and seeing as she was still hallucinating, she had had enough. She wanted to go to the hospital as soon as she could.
I made the phone call and the Palliative Care Nurse came out, assessed Nan, had a chat to her and arranged everything so Nan could go to hospital.
By this time my Uncle had arrived and also called his sister to come and move into Nan’s house (I still don’t know why she is now living in Nan’s house). I don’t think my Uncle or Aunt understood much about hallucinations or how Nan had been feeling as they kept telling her there was nothing else in the house and she was being silly and it was stupid how she was imagining these things. That was the last thing that my Nan (their Mum) needed to hear, and hearing them say that to her just made her more anxious, worried and stressed than she needed to be.
We got to the hospital mid afternoon and she was put directly into a bed in the Palliative Care Ward. Her medication was checked and changed, she was monitored and reassessed and had some food organised for her.
The Palliative Care staff are amazing. They are so caring, nurturing and compassionate.